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South Sudan invites US companies to invest in oil industry

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South Sudan invites US companies to invest in oil industry


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South Sudan has invited US companies to start investing in its fledgling oil industry, a sector dominated by Asian firms.

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"We need your technology and financial support to boost our private sector," the minister of information and broadcasting, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said.

"The United States stood with us during the difficult period of our liberation war. Now we need American support to develop this new nation," said Benjamin, also the government's official spokesman.

The US played a major role in ending Sudan's 21-year conflict in 2005, which culminated in South Sudan's secession from Africa's largest country and independence on July 9, 2011.

Last week, the US Ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Page, said US oil firms were interested in South Sudan. "There are a lot of interests in oil and gas deposits in South Sudan by US companies."

The government would also like the US to get involved in constructing a pipeline running from the landlocked country to the Kenyan port of Lamu on the Indian Ocean. South Sudan currently relies on a pipeline running through Sudan to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

The government said last month Toyota Tshusho will construct the Lamu pipeline. While the price tag on the construction of the pipeline was not revealed during talks with South Sudan's president, Salvan Kiir, and Toyota Tshusho chairman Junzo Shimizue, officials in Juba have said it could cost $4 billion.

--Moyiga Nduru,
--Edited by Dan Lalor,